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Suspension Failure R1200RT


Whip

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22K...ESA gone.....Whatup with this????....I road Greg (FlyingGreg) Ayala's R1150RT through some serious twisties...he couldn't keep up with me and he was riding my R1200RT.......after about 15 minutes I realized he wasn't having fun so I pulled over and traded bikes back....now I know why all the R1150RT are so hard to keep up with...their bike are better than mine...Greg's 2004 R1150RT handled like it's on rails ....mine is like a bucking bronk on crack.... The ESA may need to go in the same trash bin as the radio..... The damping is gone....

 

 

Whip

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"22K...ESA gone.....Whatup with this????....I road Greg (FlyingGreg) Ayala's R1150RT through some serious twisties...he couldn't keep up with me and he was riding my R1200RT.......after about 15 minutes I realized he wasn't having fun so I pulled over and traded bikes back....now I know why all the R1150RT are so hard to keep up with...their bike are better than mine...Greg's 2004 R1150RT handled like it's on rails ....mine is like a bucking bronk on crack.... The ESA may need to go in the same trash bin as the radio.."

 

Oh come on man, what's wrong with your setup? Wait a minute, did you say you have ESA? Nevermind what I just said because I was going to say maybe you turned your pre load and rebound damping the WRONG direction [don't ask me why I would suggest such a thing blush.gif], trying to get proper rider sag [preload] and adjusting the upward movement [rebound] to slow down and gain better traction control, but ESA takes all the thinking out of the equation doesn't it?

This does definitely present some interesting challenges and questions about ESA. Keep us posted, I am curious and have not heard anything but praise for the R1200RT's handling and suspension, and the journos seem to love the ESA? confused.gif

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" mine is like a bucking bronk on crack "

 

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What's all that supposed to mean.....may have something to do with the way I've been riding...with Louise on the back???????

 

Careful.. I've got pix for ride tales..tomorrow...

 

 

 

Whip

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Not to pick on you, Larry, but we had a lot of early arguments (with others) about this. Russell and I were pretty strongly against the idea of ESA given BMW's crappy choice in shocks in the past and the cost of replacement.

 

I'm feeling a little vindication, though I hope it's not at your expense. Once you take it in, though, you'll find that BMW will have nothing to do with covering it under warranty. So rather than paying a couple grand, think about getting some GOOD shocks that are more adjustable, rebuildable, and cheaper.

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David

 

I suspect your correct.....I have an appointment with Rhinewest on Tuesday.....They will make a report which I will take with me to Alamo BMW.....I'm ready for new "regular" shocks...my only question is what will happen to the resale value if the ESA button is rendered useless....if the resale is a big issue and they will not fix it under waranty I'll have an FJR for Gunny.....anyone that owns a RT12 should ride a good 1150RT they won't believe how much better they handle.....

 

Whip

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"if the resale is a big issue and they will not fix it under waranty I'll have an FJR for Gunny"

 

Larry, Larry, Larry, Just settle down a little here..Have you ran this FJR idea by Louise yet? eek.gifeek.gif

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Billy, Billy, Billy,......after Louise beat me in the back all the way back from Escalante because she didn't feel safe...I think I can convince her it is the bike fault not the way I was driving......

 

Whip

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ShovelStrokeEd

You could always use the ESA button to activate an Autoswitch to run driving lights or some such. Tell the next buyer that ESA stands for Enhanced Sight Accessory or some such, all the while pointing to the Ohlins front and rear.

 

I have a feeling you won't be the last to post about problems with this aspect of the new bikes. Sorry you had to be the first.

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Whip, I can't wait for my ESA shocks to crap out so I can upgrade to a set of Ohlins. I didn't want ESA, but the '05 I purchased in March of '06 was optioned with the wiz-bang suspension system. The discount I received on the bike was aggressive enough to keep the ESA from becoming a deal breaker.

 

I don't like the ESA system and think it is a waste of money and I've never been able to dial in the rear damper to my liking. I'd give the BMW ESA system a 2 out of 5 rating. If my budget wasn't so tight my ESA dampers would have gone into the salvage bin within the first 30 days.

 

I'm sorry yours went belly up. Do yourself a favor and purchase a set of Ohlins, Wilbers, or Works. Have them set up for your weight and riding style. You will fall in love with the 1200RT all over again. You will finally see what your RT is capable of.

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I can say without doubt that the 12RT is a much better handling bike than the 1150. I had an 04 1150 and now an 05 1200 - the 1150 was a great handling bike but the 12RT is just that much better. Of course mine doens't have ESA and maybe that is difference. When you get your suspension fixed you will see.

 

 

 

David

 

.....anyone that owns a RT12 should ride a good 1150RT they won't believe how much better they handle.....

 

Whip

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I have to say that my 06 with ESA does very well. I spent the weekend in the blueridge and during a little adrenaline run at about 120 through a bottom, all of sudden there was a looming monster curve that the leader had failed to let us all know about. Every bike in the pack ran out to the far left white line holding that curve while I sat directly above the right lane white line the whole way through.

 

It certainly gave us all a good wake up call but at the next stop all the talk was about how the RT hung in that curve. I think I sold a couple bikes this weekend. smile.gif

 

Of course there are many factors to consider, there were many ranges of experience, tires, ages and bikes in that pack. All in all, I like the ESA it is a great thing to go from one up to two up with my wife in 30 seconds.

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I can say without doubt that the 12RT is a much better handling bike than the 1150. I had an 04 1150 and now an 05 1200 - the 1150 was a great handling bike but the 12RT is just that much better. Of course mine doens't have ESA and maybe that is difference. When you get your suspension fixed you will see.

 

 

 

David

 

.....anyone that owns a RT12 should ride a good 1150RT they won't believe how much better they handle.....

 

Whip

 

Andrew, I am there with you on that. I had the R1150RT for four years, it was a fantastic bike, but the R1200RT (mine is without ESA)handles so much better thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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Paul Mihalka

I am trying to keep things in perspective. We are talking about ONE bike where a ESA shock failed. That is too bad. I am sorry for the hassle Whip has because of it. But we are still talking about only ONE failure.

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I am trying to keep things in perspective. We are talking about ONE bike where a ESA shock failed. That is too bad. I am sorry for the hassle Whip has because of it. But we are still talking about only ONE failure.

 

Yes, but it illustrates the point. His failed at 22k. Most of the former OEM rear shocks seemed to lose it in the 30-40k range. Do you think these will last longer? If they don't, how are folks going to handle a replacement of thousands of dollars, only to last another similar interval?

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I'm more interested in my options than complaining about the shocks going away at only 22K........if and that's a big if, BMW will replace the shocks... Do I want them??...Like Limecreek said....I've never liked the way the bike handled....it's always been soft even at full 2 helmet sport setting...if I spend whatever on Ohlins will it kill the resale value of the bike and does this make sense......maybe I should replace the shocks with the ESA, sell the bike and move on..... That's where I'm at and I can't get answers for a couple days.....Any input on options I missed would be appreciated....

 

 

 

Whip

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One of the problems with ESA is that it's a one-size-fits-all sort of approach. The controls affect preload and return rates, but you're using the same spring rates. No amount of fiddling with preload and rebound damping will fix the wrong spring.

 

All this to say that your body weight and riding style might not be suited to an off-the-shelf solution.

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Paul Mihalka
Yes, but it illustrates the point. His failed at 22k. Most of the former OEM rear shocks seemed to lose it in the 30-40k range. Do you think these will last longer? If they don't, how are folks going to handle a replacement of thousands of dollars, only to last another similar interval?
David, I don't disagree with you. I always said that a rebuildable set of Oehlins, Wilbers, Fox, is the way to go.

 

Whip: I'm in the BMW busines and I don't think a set of Oehlins instead of ESA will reduce the resale value of a bike - it may improve it. I do think that thinking of selling a bike because a shock failed is a bit over reacting. A properly set up R1200RT does handle better than any R1150RT.

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if I spend whatever on Ohlins will it kill the resale value of the bike and does this make sense

 

Hi Larry:

 

Sorry to see this trouble. frown.gif

 

I can't believe you'd really hurt the value of the bike by putting Ohlins, Wilbers or the like on it. As far as I can tell, many people do that long before the OEMs go south. In fact, the service manager at my dealer asked me if I was interested in Ohlins when I took my GS in for the 600 mile service. I tend to take the long-range view, so I'd say that if you and Louise otherwise like the RT, spend the $$ on good aftermarket shocks and keep the bike until a real "must have" bike comes along.

 

You've already BTDT with the FJR, right?

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As far as I can tell, many people do that long before the OEMs go south.
I believe you're right Joel. I did. I installed my Wilbers before my RT had 5k and now I have a perfectly good set of spare shocks. When it's time to refurbish the Wilbers I can slap on the stockers so I can keep riding. I chose not to have ESA because of the cost and BMW's policy with shocks. They call them wear items so they don't have to replace the shocks when they go bad. BMW does not differentiate between worn out springs/damping and say a blown seal. If your seal blows after the magic mileage number (which was 18k on my oilheads) you are out of luck because you cannot get the shock rebuilt. BMW makes you buy another shock. I do not know what the official policy is with the ESA shocks. I've been riding BMWs for 23 years and have yet to be satisfied with a stock BMW suspension. I have changed the suspension on every single BMW (7 total) I have ever owned.

 

Addressing the statement that the R1150RT handles better than the R1200RT, it just isn't so. My R1200RT replaced an R1150RS on which I had installed a set of Ohlins and the RT with Wilbers out-handles that bike by a pretty good margin.

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Whip: I'm in the BMW busines and I don't think a set of Oehlins instead of ESA will reduce the resale value of a bike - it may improve it. I do think that thinking of selling a bike because a shock failed is a bit over reacting. A properly set up R1200RT does handle better than any R1150RT.

 

 

Paul

 

I appreciate your input....my RT has never handled as well as FlyingGreg's.....Greg has had aftermarket shocks put on....as far as over reacting goes...you maybe right.....most of those 22K have been two up....we wiegh under 300 together and have been chasing these nuts all over the country for months now....maybe that's why the shocks have quit.....Rhinewest in the morning!!!!!

 

Thanks again

Whip

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chrisolson

If your seal blows after the magic mileage number (which was 18k on my oilheads) you are out of luck because you cannot get the shock rebuilt. BMW makes you buy another shock.
Sounds like you have direct experience...

 

My '06GT warranty info doesn't specifically exclude shocks. You'd think that would be an obvious item to list like clutch or brake disk/pads (which are listed) in the warranty excluded "service and wear" items. Of course shocks wear - but then, by extention, all items on the motorcycle are wear items, even those that are covered by warranty.

 

Such ambiguity is one of those reasons why lawyers have a job!

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Sounds like you have direct experience...

I do. My first Oilhead, a 1994 R1100RS which I took delivery of in Germany blew a rear shock seal at like 20k or something like that. In the States BMWNA would have warrantied the shock. However, because I was in Germany when it happened BMW did cover it. What was then Handrich & Mayer, a BMW dealer, did the replacement for me. They also provided me with a loaner bike. Fast forward about 40k to Warner Robins Georgia. That replacement shock blows the seal. Interestingly both failures occurred in cold weather. Now at this stage I understand completely that it will not be a warranty fix, even in Germany. However, since the shock is not rebuildable I had two expensive options. Buy another, expensive BMW Showa which is likely to fail again or spend some extra cash and get Ohlins which have a real warranty AND are rebuildable. My biggest beef with the shocks BMW uses is that when the either wear out or fail you cannot go to your dealer have have them rebuild them. If the shocks were priced, say like stock car shocks this wouldn't that big a deal. But when said shock retails for, say $824, like my non-ESA rear shock retails for, paying for the it again is not an option for me. BTW, my rear Wilbers costs about the same as the stock non-ESA shock. What does the ESA rear shock retail for? $1450. And, if you want the ESA to work the dealer must do the installation because the shocks controller must be intergrated into the bike electrical system. If you just plug it in ZFE will not recognize it. If it's not under warranty you then must foot the labor bill on top of the cost of the new ESA shock. Nice, eh?
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....my RT has never handled as well as FlyingGreg's.....

 

Whip, just a thought here but, given the number of 1150 riders responses here, perhaps your 1200's suspension had a problem from the git go.

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....my RT has never handled as well as FlyingGreg's.....

 

Whip, just a thought here but, given the number of 1150 riders responses here, perhaps your 1200's suspension had a problem from the git go.

 

 

You may be right about that....I tried to return the bike the first day I purchased it because I thought there was something unstable about it.......they refused to take it back or look at it... with only 20 miles on it....we haven't been friends since....They told me to write to BMW and see what they have to say....

 

Whip

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Marty Hill

Whip,

 

What your last post said is terrible. You need to go back and raise some hell with those jerks. It probably was bad from the get-go. Which wonderful dealer was it?

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Paul Mihalka

Recommendation to everybody: Whenever you think something on your bike is not working right, new bike or bike still in warranty, put it in writing and get something from the dealer that you complained about it. This way if the problem later develops fully it is not wear and tear or if the bike went out of warranty in the meantime it should still be covered.

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Hey Marty

 

I don't want to go into dealer bashing....I think a mistake was made when I first brought it back and then they had no way out....Short version....I brought the bike back and talked to the owner(not a hands on kinda guy)...the sales manager (the person I purchased the bike from) was on vacation the day after I picked up the bike......the owner agreed to take the bike back...he didn't tell anyone to stop the title transfer...by the time the sales manager got back it was too late...the bike was now a used bike....they called me and asked what I wanted to do with the bike...when I told them it was theirs and I didn't want it... they told me they never agreed to take it back....they kept it for about 6 weeks after that replacing radios and working on the suspension and never fixed anything...finally I took the bike to Rhinewest and they did the best they could but still no help....I have only been to the dealer once since to get a spare key....I never really let it get to me....and I don't hold it against em...I just won't go back......

 

I never would have met all you wonderful people and had all the fun I've had in the last 9 months if they had taken it back....

 

Whip

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Marty Hill

I understand. Just hate to see you have this problem. As usual Paul has the correct answer. thumbsup.gif

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Rhinewest says shocks gone...front and back...Dealer says no help for you.......Spent a couple minutes discussing options with Hank from RW...Ohlins are off the rack and expensive....He talked me into Wilbers, custom made in Germany for me(asked me all kinds of question, put on a good show anyway) and my riding style and a few $$ cheaper than Ohlins...May not have them for Gunny....Paid an extra 35$ to "rush" the order we will see......

 

Found 3 FJR's in Dallas....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

 

Whip

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Whip,

 

Has anyone addressed what the programming in the ESA equipped scoot is going to do when it no longer "sees" the ESA shocks? Error codes? Display flashing it fr*ggin' head off?

Did RW have a response?

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I'll just add my opinion that the Wilbers are a good move. My feeling is that you won't hurt your resale. Generally, the market for used BMWs is made of of fairly sophisticated buyers who know the pros and cons of aftermarket modifications. Most would view these components as enhancing the value of your RT.

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Installed Wilbers on my non-ESA RT last summer. Can't say I can tell any difference between them and the stockers which went only a couple k miles. Now have almost 20K miles and the handling continues to be excellent and beyond my inclinations.

Was told by the dealer that you can't put aftermarket shocks on the ESA bikes but that may have just been smoke.

Bill

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Dealer says no help for you
I would talk to an attorney if I were you. It's one thing for something that just wears out but it's quite another if fails and it's something as expensive as ESA shocks. ESA finished at 22K and BMW won't fix it?? That's #$%$^#@! BS!!

 

On another note, Bill (MBE500) says he didn't notice a difference between the non-stock shocks and Wilbers. I have between 600 and 650 thousand miles riding experience and I can tell you there is a HUGE difference when you install either Wilbers or Ohlins. The biggest difference is the refinement. The Wilbers and Ohlins are far smoother over routine road conditions while at the same time keeping the bike under total control. You don't have to make them harsh to get rid of the "po-go" feeling when riding over expansion joints. Once you've ridden with the best for a period of time going back to stock is an eye opening experience.

 

Having said that the non-ESA shocks are ok once you get used to them. My main reason for switching to Wilbers is the BMW does not stand behind their shocks. They cost a fortune, are not rebuildable, and don't last much past 20k miles. Also, because I switched early I now have a pair of stock shocks I can use when I have the Wilbers serviced.

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I appreciate your input....my RT has never handled as well as FlyingGreg's.....Greg has had aftermarket shocks put on....as far as over reacting goes...you maybe right.....most of those 22K have been two up....we wiegh under 300 together and have been chasing these nuts all over the country for months now....maybe that's why the shocks have quit.....Rhinewest in the morning!!!!!
I stumbled across this post and thought Whip should know he was chasing a totally stock 1150RT. No aftermarket shocks yet. The stockers still work good'nuff for my pocket book until they're worn out, then something better will take their place. thumbsup.gif Whip. you'll just have to keep chasing me and reading my license plate. grin.gif
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BeemerBerg

Whip-

 

Maybe I missed this, but what exactly happened to your ESA? Was it the shocks or the "brain" that failed? I've been having issues with my 1200's ESA, but the shop cleared the "fault" & it worked OK. But it's on the fritz again--they won't go from "solo" to any other position. Back to the shop....

tongue.gif

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The shocks are toast. Whip's bike may have other issues with the controller as well. But the shocks are gone.

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The shocks are toast. Whip's bike may have other issues with the controller as well. But the shocks are gone.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself...

 

Whip

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